While completely unintended by the author Michael Lewis, The Blind Side seems to have become a guide to major athletics hires at Ole Miss. Sean Tuohy, the adoptive father of Michael Oher who enrolled the then 16-year-old offensive tackle at Briarcrest Christian School, allowing him to play high school football under new Rebel head coach Hugh Freeze, has seemingly thrown his own hat in the ring for the vacant Ole Miss Athletics Director position.
Yes, you read that right; he is lobbying for himself via the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Hey, at least he's a guy who wants the job, right?
In perusing Facebook, Twitter, and various Rebel-related message boards, the reactions to the idea of Tuohy as AD have been rather mixed thus far. Many fans find the idea a good one, citing Tuohy's business exeperience (Somebody help me out here with this, because I don't know what business experience he has outside of his Memphis-area miniature fast food feifdom.), desire for the job, and deep Ole Miss connections and loyalty. Others find the possibility yet another in a long line of examples of Ole Miss' rather insular approach to governance and ideas. And others seem to be really excited about the possibilities of free Taco Bell at any and all sporting events.
So what, exactly, are Tuohy's qualifications for the job?
First, he has a strong connection to Ole Miss and Ole Miss athletics. Not only is he the adoptive father of Michael Oher, but he is also an Ole Miss alumnus who was himself an accomplished athlete. His SEC record for assists in a career still stands today, in fact. Still, many would find this as Tuohy's greatest downfall as a candidate, citing current lame duck AD Pete Boone's Ole Miss connections as one of his greatest flaws.
His ties to Hugh Freeze are also cause for concern among many. Should an executive in any capacity be a person who is a long-time personal friend of his most high profile employee? In nearly any professional situation, such would be a no go.
Along with his Ole Miss and brief basketball stardom, he has done something sorta significant with his professional life. While many would deride his lordship over the Mid-South's Taco Bells, Long John Silvers, and KFCs as poor qualification for such a position (because it is), at least he has some experience running successful businesses. Granted, fast food is successful in the South largly due to our own drunkenness, lethargy, or drunken lethargy, but that doesn't make him any less of a not-failure in this regard. He's also got connections with the Memphis media and the Memphis Grizzlies franchise as their radio color guy. What value that has in a self-appointed candidate for an SEC AD role might be minimal, but it's worth mentioning.
And then there's the fact that Tuohy really does seem like a pretty swell guy. That, and Tim McGraw played him in a movie. Has Tim McGraw played you in a movie? Exactly.